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November 3, 2005
Parks to remain private in death
Public will have minimal access to civil rights icon's final resting place
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The Detroit News
DETROIT -- Rosa Parks' final resting place will not be open to the public, cemetery officials said, although people wishing to stroll the grounds near where Parks is entombed won't be turned away.

AT REST: Rosa Parks was entombed at Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery on Wednesday. The chapel was renamed Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel. - BILL PUGLIANO / Getty Images
Parks' body was laid to rest Wednesday evening in the mausoleum of the old stone chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. Her mother and husband, who previously were buried at the cemetery, will be disinterred and moved to places beside her.
The chapel, which has been renamed the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel since Parks' death, is generally kept locked against vandalism unless a funeral service is under way, said Woodlawn director Sy Leizerman.
However, Leizerman has no plans to otherwise restrict visitors or those wishing to pay tribute to Parks. Tens of thousands of people filed past her casket earlier in the week, some traveling hundreds of miles to take part in a moment of history.
Hugh Bowman of Livonia is among those who wish to visit the mausoleum to say a final goodbye. He waited three hours Tuesday to view Parks at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History but plans to let the furor die down a bit before making a pilgrimage to Woodlawn.
"It would be good to pay our last respects," said the 64-year-old Bowman. "My wife and I are waiting a while before doing it, though. We are waiting for a little lull."
At the moment there are no plans to change visiting rules at the cemetery, which is open every day.
Other well-known people buried at the cemetery include former Mayor Albert Cobo; Joseph L. Hudson, the department store founder; Aretha Franklin's father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin; and Edsel Ford, the father of Henry II and William Clay Ford Sr. The Dodge Brothers -- Horace and John -- are guarded by sphinx-like lions.
None of their gravesites has attracted noticeable attention and it's unclear whether that will change now that Parks is in the chapel.
"The woman was an icon," Leizerman said. "I really don't know at this point what to expect."

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